School districts are subject to the provisions contained in Chapter 13, Article 5 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes, also known as the Nebraska Budget Act. Section 13-502(1) states: The purpose of the Nebraska Budget Act is to require governing bodies of this state to which the act applies to follow prescribed budget practices and procedures and make available to the public pertinent information pertaining to the financial requirements and expectations of such governing bodies so that intelligent and informed support, opposition, criticism, suggestions, or observations can be made by those affected.
Much of the general information concerning preparing, adopting, filing, and amending a budget for political subdivisions is contained in the Nebraska Budget Act. A summary of the procedures and deadlines specific to school districts are outlined below. Budget Preparation Budgeting is the process of allocating finite resources to the prioritized needs of a school district. The budget represents the legal authority to spend school district funds.
Adopting a budget implies a set of decisions has been made by the board of education that matches the needs of the school district with its resources.
One method of preparing a budget is to compare actual receipts and expenditures from preceding school fiscal years to the estimated/actual receipts and expenditures for the current school fiscal year. This information will assist school district personnel and the board of education in estimating the appropriate level of receipts and expenditures for the ensuing school fiscal year. The method may also provide the necessary information for the board of education to prioritize programs and activities to determine which programs or activities may need to be reduced in order to stay within the levy and expenditure limitations.
The information for preparing a budget may be gathered from a number of documents. These documents may be, but are not limited to the following:
- Audit Reports from prior school fiscal years
- Annual Financial Reports from prior school fiscal years
- School District Budget Forms from prior school fiscal years
- Internal reports and data from the school district accounting system
- March 15 Deadline for notification of availability of the Retirement Incentive Plan and Staff Development Assistance for school districts that are part of a dissolution/merger or unification.
- April 10 School districts received the amount of State Aid the school district will receive in the 2012/13 school fiscal year.
- April 15 Deadline for school districts to provide Reduction in Force (RIF) notices to certificated personnel.
- May 1 School districts received the information listed below from the Department of Education:
- August 20 Assessed valuation is certified by the county assessor to school districts and all other political subdivisions.
- September 20 Adopted budgets for school districts must be filed with the Auditor of Public Accounts, the County Clerk, and the Nebraska Department of Education.
- Adopt the budget as originally published.
- Make changes to the published budget and then vote to adopt.
- Vote to postpone the motion to adopt the budget in order to further consider the budget.
- Auditor of Public Accounts
- County Board, c/o County Clerk
- Nebraska Department of Education
- School District Budget Form (Cover Page through Page 5)
- Proof of Publication for the Notice of Budget Hearing
- Notice of Budget Hearing
- Schedules A, B & C
- Copy of Certification of Taxable Value
- Election Ballot and Certification of Election Results for a successful election to override the levy limitation (if applicable)
- Lid Computation Form (LC-2) submitted to the Nebraska Department of Education through the NDE Portal
- Paper copy of the LC-2 and the Special Grant Fund List submitted to the Auditor of Public Accounts and the County Clerk
- Election Ballot and Certification of Election Results for a successful election to exceed the expenditure limitation (if applicable)